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Reaching for New Heights

Climbing the stairs of a 48-storey building doesn't intimidate Michael Coss.

As he geared up to participate in the B.C. Lung Association's Climb the Wall fundraiser, which involves climbing to the top of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel, he was confident in his ability to meet the challenge.

Michael was told he'd never be able to walk again after sustaining a brain injury during a car accident nine years ago. Now, getting around with just the help of a cane, he knows he can do anything he sets his mind to.

"I want to inspire people to be the best they can be, whatever situation they're in," says Michael.

His own source of inspiration is his family, which has been with him since day one on his journey to redesign his life.

"My inspiration comes from my two children, Nathan and Danielle. Everything I do is for them," says Michael. "And my mom and dad, they came to B.C. (from Quebec) the day after my injury to be with me."

Michael has never been one to rest on his laurels. When he's not busy training at the gym for Climb the Wall, he enjoys concerts, hockey games and going out for burgers at Vera's with his friends. He's also written a book, called The Courage to Come Back: Triumph over TBI – A Story of Hope, and recently filmed a documentary. There's never a dull moment for Michael, who won the Courage to Come Back award in 2012.

"That put me on cloud nine," he says.

Michael's next goal is to improve the use of his left hand so he can use both arms when he hugs his nine-year-old twins.

"My brain injury has made me a better person, a better father. It made me realize what was important in life."